two poems




Looking Away




When I close my eyes I hear the soft labor of opening:

the magnolias

on my Panhandle street stretching into a wide, wet blue.

I would go back and walk a hundred walks

with no ice or slush to slip through, and

eat kumquats from the neighbors’ tree

without permission, which feels righteous

considering its branches extend

right into the sidewalk.

I resent property

mostly because of fruit and the agony

of having seen tomatoes bulging with summer

rot on a forgotten vine, me

standing on the precipice of yard with

palms pressed to some

imaginary glass.

A small miracle is when I am turning left

and there are no cars coming to make me

wait alone in my restraints

with too much time for sitting quietly

and not enough to look at something

on my phone.

At work when I am clearing the plates

I feel invisible like the ocean

swallowing up our sick,

thinking of the way we refuse to

call a landfill

what it is.




Thinking About a Funny Thing


The yoga instructor is saying something

about acceptance and my body

is becoming the warm elastic of my hamstrings

and hips; I am thinking about a funny thing

that happened today and I want to giggle

but this is a very serious pose and

I would like to appear very serious.

On my back I remember summer

when class was outside and we would all sweat

and just as I would close my eyes before savasana

my vision would go blurry, almost

like when you bend backwards and

then center and

see stars. I’m looking up

at the ceiling and imagining

when sky was in its place and thinking

about a funny thing I said in the car and

suddenly we are all laughing at

some brief communal pain and

the yoga instructor is saying something about acceptance.

So slowly I am learning to love

what is easy and when I bring my knees

to my chest I can feel all these tiny pieces of myself

rushing to my own center like antelopes

to a watering hole and finally there is enough

to go around. I guess

I just thought wholeness would be heavier,

and I lift my hands




Allie Wisniewski is a poet, photographer, naturalist, and dancer, currently residing in Salt Lake City, Utah. She spent most of her life in North Florida and is greatly influenced by the culture and ecology of the southeast. Her work explores our complicated relationship with nature, as well as memory, mundanity, and sense of place. She has been published both digitally and in print by American Forests MagazinePoetry Super Highway, Utah Life Magazine, Nostalgia Press, and Cardinal Sins Journal, among others. Follow her in cyberspace: @alliewisniewski.